Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Cancer drug hopes to be dashed.

A drug that significantly extends life expectancy for patients with liver cancer is set to be refused by the government's health watchdog.

Nexavar increases survival rates by 44 per cent and without it, the only option for patients is supportive and palliative care to make their final months less painful.

However, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) is set to refuse to make it available on the NHS.

In the UK, there are approximately 2,800 new diagnoses of primary liver cancer made every year and the disease is responsible for causing around 2,800 deaths annually.

In May this year when NICE published their preliminary findings into the drug, they said that the drug "would not be a cost-effective use of NHS resources".

The cost of Nexavar per month is £2980.47 and the patient access scheme, run by the drug company, is every 4th pack free.

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